(Editor’s note: This piece was originally published September 1, 2017.)
I’ve got good news; I’ve got really good news; and I’ve got a little bit of “eh” news. Being an always-get-the-bad-news-out-of-the-way type, I’ll lead with the let’s see how it goes bit …
Nic Pizzolatto is still writing the majority of True Detective, Season 3.
Yeah, I know. We’d heard that following the great plagiaristic debacle of 2014, and the snore that was True Detective‘s second season, Pizzolatto’s Season 3 effect might be tempered by the excellent David Milch (Deadwood, Brooklyn South), and to an extent, that’s true. Unfortunately, the mitigation only extends to a single episode (3.4), which, we’ll just have to hope balances the tone, and brilliantly sets off round three.
That’s the “eh” portion and the good news, rolled up into one. The excellent news — besides the fact that HBO scored the best lead actor to draw viewers back in, Academy Award winning, Luke Cage Chief,
Mahershala Ali — is that they’ve also brought in a fantastic director (Pizzolatto will direct, as well), a master of mood, suspense, and terror: Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room, Blue Ruin).
In additional details shared by EW, it’s clear the new season will head back to its “rural roots” — while also providing an opportunity for what could be a brilliant Netflix crossover — with Ali starring as Arkansas state police detective, Wayne Hays, who investigates a gruesome crime over the course of decades. Set in the Ozark Mountains (which, how great would it be to have Ali’s Hays run into the Byrde family, next year?), the “deepening mystery” will take place in three separate timelines; thus far, there are five written scripts, with the exact number of episodes still to be determined (presumably eight, as in seasons one and two).
Pizzolatto’s statement echoes our own thoughts:
I’m tremendously thrilled to be working with artists at the level of Mahershala and Jeremy. I hope the material can do justice to their talents …”
You and me both, buddy.
Oh, and if I might suggest a fabulous co-star …
*Updated January 3, 2018
Mahershala Ali‘s State Police Detective, Wayne Hays just scored a partner in Stephen Dorff (Star, Wheeler), who’s been cast as Arkansas State Investigator, Roland West, whose life has also been affected by the crime (see above) Hays digs into over three decades.
Dorff is one of those actors with a recognizable face, you know you’ve seen around, but probably can’t name the movies or shows he’s been in (except maybe Blade), but I think he’ll work out well alongside Ali. He joins Carmen Ejogo, previously cast as schoolteacher, Amelia Reardon.
We’ll update as news and a premiere date are announced.
*Updated October 11, 2018
HBO today announced True Detective‘s third outing, starring Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff as partners, Wayne Hays and Roland West (respectively), also starring Carmen Ejogo, Mamie Gummer, and Scoot McNairy will premiere Sunday, January 13, 2019. As well as Jeremy Saulnier, David Sackheim (The Americans, Lie to Me, The X-Files) and Nic Pizzolatto will direct the eight-part series. Here are a few first look photos: